HOPE program (Helping Our Peers by Providing Empathy)


The purpose of HOPE is to provide social support assistance to families that are affected by the loss of a loved one. HOPE matches trained peer volunteers to bereaved families.


HOPE assists family members who have lost a loved one who served in the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF), either active or retired, Regular or Reserve Force. The loss may be attributed to military service or any other cause.


The transition for those left behind after a loved one dies can be very difficult. Even though family, friends, and in some cases, professional counsellors are available for support, many bereaved individuals also express a desire to speak with someone who can share similar experiences. In many cases, connecting and identifying with a trained peer can make a significant difference in the grieving process. HOPE is a complementary program which is not intended to replace other traditional bereavement services. Trained volunteers, who have experienced similar losses, provide support and act as positive role models to help others through their grief and recovery journey. Peers can offer a unique perspective, share experiences and provide hope.

How peer support helps peers

The first role of a peer is to listen. Peers have been there and they respect the family's situation and privacy. They have received training and may be trusted to keep conversations confidential.

The HOPE volunteers offer support, a sympathetic ear, understanding of the grief journey, shared experiences, and new options.

Becoming a volunteer

To train as a peer volunteer and to become a ray of hope through someone's journey through grief, contact HOPE.


HOPE can be reached toll free 1-800-883-6094 or email at HOPE-ESPOIR@forces.gc.ca.

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